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Public to get say on development plan at ex-nursery site in Central Saanich

A proposal to develop 233 housing units at the former Marigold Nursery site in Central Saanich will go to public hearing, likely in early January.

A proposal to develop 233 housing units at the former Marigold Nursery site in Central Saanich will go to public hearing, likely in early January.

Central Saanich council decided to send the proposal to hearing even after questions were raised about the eight units of below-market rental units in the developer’s proposal.

Central Saanich’s Official Community Plan encourages new developments to include 10 per cent affordable units.

Coun. Alicia Holman said if the 10 per cent guideline were to be followed a development of this size should have about 23 units of below-market price housing. The developers have proposed eight of 36 rental units as being below market for 10 years.

The latest proposal for the Lochside Drive site by developers Tim Hackett and Steve Mann calls for 154 condos at market price, 35 townhouses at market price, eight duplexes at market price and 36 rental units.

“There was a resolution put forward for a certain number [of below market units] to be designated in each category. [But] council has decided to go to public hearing with the eight,” said Mayor Ryan Windsor.

When they bought the property, Hackett spoke of the need for lower-priced housing for people working at the airport and the Keating Business Park area.

Demolition work at 7874 and 7940 Lochside Dr. was halted in late July after WorkSafe B.C. suspected asbestos was present, but the stopwork order was lifted within a week.

WorkSafe determined a site inspection had not been conducted to identify hazardous materials, nor had such materials been contained or removed safely. Other hazardous materials such as pressurized gas cylinders, propane tanks and chemicals also were deemed to be present.

The Marigold proposal will include 264,500 square feet of construction. —Times Colonist